BCD Travel’s Yannis Karmis says the main pain point for infrequent travelers is a lack of timely information. For road warriors, the biggest issue is control: They want to be empowered to make decisions—shaped by corporate travel policy—at any point on their journey.
Technology tools can solve both problems, explained Karmis, BCD’s senior vice president of Product Planning & Development, in a wide-ranging Q&A with PhocusWire.
“Traveler engagement platforms with mobile applications are proving invaluable for this, allowing companies and their travel management companies to provide guidance to these travelers at every point within the trip,” Karmis said. He outlined the related benefits of BCD’s TripSource® traveler engagement platform:
- Insight: TripSource delivers flight status alerts, including information about gates and delays, in near real time. “We make it easy to find confirmation codes and trip details. We provide information about travel risks. We share recommendations on a range of trip-related decisions, from transportation options to whether hotel rooms include Wi-Fi and breakfast,” Karmis said.
- Context: “We share information to help travelers better understand their options and make informed decisions,” he said. ”We remember their preferences. We provide travelers access to their travel policies and procedures. We make emergency contacts easy to find.”
- Empowerment: Self-service options within TripSource allow travelers to control trip management. “We give travelers the tools they need to get service in the way that best fits their needs. Click to call their agent. Cancel trips in the app. Chat with an agent.”
- Control: Travelers can use TripSource to take control of the booking process in a variety of ways. “With just a few clicks, they can shop and book from a massive inventory representing hotels in over 200 countries. They can make an air reservation. Soon they will be able to reserve a rental car. We can even make it easy to connect them to their company’s preferred online booking tool. It’s easy to search based on personal preferences—or save their favorite properties,” Karmis explained.
Karmis’ Q&A with PhocusWire also explored BCD’s take on:
- The complexities of New Distribution Capability
- Why the travel management company launched Stay by BCD TravelTM, a new approach to hotel sourcing and program management
- Ways BCD’s SolutionSource® marketplace is enabling tailored travel programs
- How blockchain could simplify business travel processes
- What traveler identity management means for the future
- How virtual payments benefit companies and their travelers
The future of business travel will be shaped by solutions that ease traveler pain points and improve trip experiences, while also driving compliance and savings, Karmis said. “Retailing in the consumer market is driving more sophisticated online shopping strategies. The online and mobile channels are, and will continue to be, the primary ways our clients and travelers experience our services.”